Without evidence, Trump says Susan Rice may have acted criminally

Alvin Kelly
April 20, 2017

"I leaked nothing to nobody and never have and never would".

"I think it's going to be the biggest story", the president said. Current and former intelligence officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations have said that nothing they have seen led them to believe Rice's actions were unusual or unlawful.

As reported by Bloomberg, an unidentified source accused Rice of "requesting the identities of us persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign".

The supposed "unmasking" of Trump's affiliates doesn't mean Rice revealed their identities either, according to the news network. And Republicans can talk in open hearings, and to reporters, about the Rice-unmasking narrative - not Russian cyberattacks or potential collusion with Trump aides. "It's very hard to prove that she made criminal intent with unmasking some of these names".

Axelrod said he was also appalled because Trump's comments came one day before Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a meeting Axelrod said "is probably the most important meeting" Trump has had so far in his presidency. However, senior national security officials can request the identities of the Americans if that helps understand the intelligence better.

The Trump White House has been particularly incensed that intercepted conversations between Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russia's ambassador to the US surfaced in news reports before the inauguration.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump told the New York Times on Wednesday that Rice may have committed a crime. "If the intelligence community professionals decide that there's some value, national security, foreign policy or otherwise in unmasking someone, they will grant those requests", said former Obama State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

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"She has no credibility", Paronto said. The president declined multiple requests to provide substantive evidence or the names of Obama administration officials he claims were involved. She was making use of this intelligence to spy on President Trump and his associates and then leaking the information to the media.

Rice, now swept up in the investigation of Russia's influence in the election.

My guess is that Rice's demasking requests were on behalf of the Obama National Security Council and were part of a broad campaign that began in early 2016 to abuse USA intelligence to hurt the Trump candidacy and then his presidency.

So Rice didn't do anything wrong in asking for redacted names to be "unmasked" in reports involving Trump people, so long as she kept those names to herself (and the president), but she reportedly is known for playing politics - or at least wanting to play politics - with classified information.

"I leaked nothing to nobody", Rice told MSNBC. The national security advisor is not a law enforcement position and therefore does not have the authority to engage in domestic investigatory efforts, especially those that violate the constitutional rights of American citizens who were not legally valid targets of intelligence collection operations.

On Thursday, Nunes announced he had been the subject of accusations to the House Ethics Committee related to the White House episode, ones he called baseless.

"I think he shouldn't have settled; personally I think he shouldn't have settled", Trump said of O'Reilly.

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